Mark your calendars. Los Angeles' two-week-long restaurant week, DineLA, returns next month for another year of prix fixe lunch and dinner menus at more than 300 local restaurants. But food lovers should prepare for more than just a chance to snag good deals on signature dishes at top-rated Beverly Hills, downtown and Westside establishments, because throughout the month of January — which is dubbed California Restaurant Month by the state's tourism board — three other L.A. cities also host their own restaurant weeks, each with its own local twist.
First up is Santa Monica's Eat Well Week, which runs Jan. 4-11 and promotes healthy dishes prepared specifically for the occasion by more than a dozen restaurants in the city (from the Viceroy's Cast to Locanda del Lago). The third annual event happens right after the new year, when good-intentioned resolutions are most vulnerable, and allows participants to enjoy the benefits of a restaurant week with a fraction of the guilt.
Pasadena's Restaurant Week is actually Pasadena Cheeseburger Week and it runs Jan. 11-16, celebrating the fact that the city is the official birthplace of the cheeseburger. It's a local slice of unknown culinary history that the first recorded instance of a piece of cheese daringly being placed atop a basic hamburger occurred at the Rite Spot, a roadside stand that once stood at 1500 W. Colorado Blvd. For one week a year, Pasadena celebrates this ingenious feat with cheeseburger crawls, cheeseburger challenges and nearly 40 restaurants serving up their versions of the handheld meat monsters. The week even has its own theme song: Jimmy Buffett's “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” of course!
DineMB, Manhattan Beach's Restaurant Week, follows the cheeseburgers, running Jan. 25-30 and featuring specifically priced prix fixe dinner menus at a dozen or so eateries in the notoriously low-key foodie destination. For its second year, DineMB restaurants as high-end as the Strand House and as casual as Hennessey's will be offering menus for $25, $35 and $45 a meal, enticing Angelenos to trek to the South Bay hub.
Last but not least, running for a full 14 days at the end of January is DineLA, Los Angeles' expansive, impressive and slightly overwhelming restaurant “week,” happening this year from Jan. 19 through Feb. 1. The final list of restaurants hasn't been announced yet (we'll let you know when it is), but the event — which is presented by the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board — usually includes hundreds of places across the city, including high-profile names like Night + Market, Lukshon, the Bazaar, Lucques, Mo-Chica, Sotto and more.
Learn more about California Restaurant Month on the Visit California page. To make reservations at participating restaurants at these and other restaurant weeks, visit OpenTable.com